2019-01-01 16:37:38

Our first monthly chat topic of the new year.
As always the rules are simple, feel free to chat about pretty much anything going on in your life at the moment, from education/employment, books/games/films/music to any random interests or plots to take over the world you might have big_smile.

Unfortunately, as I said at the end of December's topic, Mrs. Dark and I are still feeling bloody awful as we both have terrible colds, albeit the fact that I can actually sit up at my computer is a bonus since I've not been able to do that for a couple of days now.

I'm hoping 2019 goes better than 18, since while 18 wasn't as bad as 14, there was a lot of frustration and bad stuff going on, but its a new year so hopefully we'll see some changes.
The biggest thing on the horizon for me right now is my formal graduation ceremony in two weeks where i get actually presented with the certificate for my phd (I've been awarded the qualification, this is just the formal ceremony, albeit a big formal ceremony at Durham cathedral in full academic robes etc).

Unfortunately, Durham university with their usual efficiency have contacted me not at all about my graduation since I phoned them earlier this year, which means I don't even know when I need to be at the cathedral big_smile.

I bet they've sent the details to my Durham email address, the one which has been inaccessible for the last 10 or so years which I've repeatedly told people not to use big_smile.
Still it should be fixable, albeit it will probably mean me having to do a lot of annoying phone calls tomorrow when their office reopens.

My lady is having similar bureaucratic hassles in trying to sign up for a councelling qualification, though hopefully that will get sorted this year since, if we can't find anything singing, that is what she really wants to do.

for me, the other annoying  point about haaving a cold is my work on my sf novella has had to stop for a while. This is a shame since I have had a suggestion of what I might do with it when its finished, and I've pretty much decided writing is what I want to do at this stage. My poetry has been liked by the people who've heard it, and I would be interested in taking things further and writing fiction etc.

I'm also continuing with the book reviews, though due to some issues in the personal life of the poor webmaster, fantasybookreview.co.uk has a wee bit of a backlog at the second, still, my thoughts on books should be appearing soon, and as people will have noticed from the update last week, I am trying to take the db in hand and get things uptodate there too.

So hope everyone else is having a good 2019 thus far, and feeling better than I am big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-02 03:19:48

Hmm. Well, last month, a few friends and I decided to rent out an apartment off campus and split the costs, so I've been and will continue to work on getting all that sorted. Plus the usual school stuff and all that. A new semester, another chance for the university to come calling for another few thousand dollars or so. For some reason, the university wants money. I can't fathom for the life of me why. LOL!!! Either way, I'm sure this will be a good year, here's to hoping, anyways.

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2019-01-02 15:16:28

@Jaseoffire, good luck with the new place, moving can be a pain  can be worth it when you get somewhere of your own.
Also, don't talk about university. I was finally! able to phone Durham university this morning, to ask about the graduation ceremony, it turns out they not only forgot I existed, but also forgot I'd previously booked the damnable thing.
Since trains, accommodation and such are all booked anyway, this was a major hassle. We do seem to have sorted it out, but having to make long phone conversations confirming my existence and booking hiring of academic robes and so on was not fun when I currently sound (as my brother pointed  out), rather like Dr. Claw from inspector gadget, though I suppose at least he is a doctor so its not all that inappropriate.

And after all, by the same logic that translated Harry potter and the philosopher's stone to the sorcerer's stone, I logically now have a phd in sorcery big_smile.

Again I hope others are starting 2019 feeling a little better than I am right now big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-03 05:52:33

I know that I haven't been around much, but I am quite busy, since exams for the first year of my colege are about to start in two months or so. it honestly depends upon election really. because elections are quite a disruptive process here in India, which probably is my own thinking, considering I hate big speaches and crowds.

Also, I am about to complete learning C, just two more topics to cover. (Arays and pointers.)

Of course I still don't have any experience in working on a project for now, which hopefully I would be able to get this year, as well as a part time job around June, because me and my friend are planning to get a small flat for ourselves.

It wouldn't be for permanent living, just some temporary retreat, in my case whenever the large amounts of guests are coming to the home, or my mother wants me to take me somewhere where I really don't want to go.

This also will be my first step for some indipendents.

I also wish there were some guides for creating audio games, since there are a lot of guides of video games in the internet. but the inclusion of the graphics complicates things. of course I don't want a guide which would help me in creating a game in particular, but a general guide would be appreciated.


Congrads for the PHD. I also would destroy the virus species of cold once I take over the world. because let me be honest, getting a cold at the very start of the year is not fun.

Well, the targets of this year is get fifty squats just like the push ups of the previous year, complete more games, get experience in real work, start to learn another programming language, continue to write my fanfic, and the rule that I can add and remove the targets if I choose to do so.

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2019-01-03 06:15:21

Oh. Don't get me started on the general lack of good documentation for audio programming, and good documentation and tools for audio game development. Anyways, best of luck learning C. It's easier than C++ at least. Well, most of the time, anyways. Arrays and pointers are an interesting topic, and now, I should stop before I go off on a technical ramble. @Dark Best of luck on the whole sorting out your own existence. Ahh well. Consider it an extra test of your abilities, I guess. After all, isn't that the job of a philosopher? LOL!!! Which reminds me. That paper of yours. It should be out now, correct? I shall go hunt that down.

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2019-01-03 19:59:41

@Jaseoffire, If you really want to read my thesis you can Find it here You can read the initial abstract and download the pdf which I can confirm is made of readable text big_smile.
Bare in mind though that academic ethics is written in a very specific way so it isn't exactly what you'd call light reading.

Still, the deffinition of accessibility used there is the same one as used for games on the db so it has had at least a little application I suppose, for all at this point  am frankly sick to death of the hole subject and want to do something else, hence why I'd prefer to write fiction, or at least I do when I'm feeling less crappy than I currently do.

@Dark eagle, good luck with the exams and the new flat. Politics over here has been equally nuts with the hole brexit debate, so I definitely sympathise on the big speeches angle.

I don't have any specific new years resolutions, though I would like to actually get some fiction published this year since I've pretty much decided that is what I'd like to be doing at this stage.
I've also picked up Land of livia again. I stopped because I had completed the prologue but seemed pretty stuck as I couldn't seem to complete the first few quests in chapter 1. This however I suspect was because I didn't have enough legendary gear or gems, so I've gone on a hunt for both.
I will  say I do find the game addictive, even if I curse when my brain isn't able to play mastermind correctly big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-04 01:58:47

Hi everyone!
Well things have been busy, my niece and nephew are still staying with us which has been a lot of fun. It's good to have them around, I haven't seen either one of them since the summer, it's especially good to see my niece, she's a little older and we have a lot in common. She loves the game skyrim, and I like to listen to her play. I was teasing her the other day, I asked if she'd rather stop playing skyrim forever or eat the disk. She didn't want to answer but we both had a good laugh about it.
There parents are not so good at parenting, so my sister and I try our best to be role models for the both of them.
I've been listening to bard books, not the whole thing, but listening to some of my favorite chapters from my favorite books. I'm very happy that you can get some of the commercial audiobooks from there, I appreciate what library of congress is doing, but the people they get to narrate some of the books aren't so good. They don't change there voice enough, so after a while it's hard to tell one character in a book from another.
I've been heart-broken that the movie vault has scrapped there tv shows. I found out too late to get some of my favorites, and it pains me there will be no new additions of tv shows. Thankfully I've gotten most of what I wanted the simpsons especially and other various adult cartoons. I can't believe after all that work to get all those shows they are just going to dump it all with no regard for what people want. I understand having money problems, but the least they could do is give us a ninety day warning so we could be prepared for what was coming. I deleted family guy, and now I can't get it back. It's no great loss but still if I had known I would have kept even though it was taking up too much space.
Well I've been having fun with puzzle games, especially preludimals! I haven't beaten any levels yet but I'm having a blast. I also want to get back into AHC I haven't played that in a while and I miss it.

@Dark, I hope you feel better, I've had nasty colds like that before. In fact my whole family has colds, by some miracle I have managed to avoid it for now.
In last month's topic you mentioned you were writing a sci-fi novella, if you finish it I'd love to give it a read, I love sci-fi and fantasy more than any other genre!

What has been created in the laws of nature holds true in the laws of magic as well. Where there is light, there is darkness,  and where there is life, there is also death.
Aerodyne: first of the wizard order

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2019-01-07 05:48:29

@Guitarman, sadly the scifi novella has been on hiatus along with pretty much everything else, since my lady and I have been literally in bed for the last week with said bloody awful cold. On the plus side this did give us a chance to discover Becky Chambers Wayfarer series, which has been bloody awesome, and probably is the best new  scifi that I've run across in quite a long while. actually to say the first book, a long way to a small angry planet was published in 2014, and the second book A closed and common orbit was published in 2016, its really great to know someone is writing good sf these days.

On the down side, beside me playing a bit more of land of Livia and doing the odd wordsearch or trivia puzzle on gameworld, we haven't exactly got much else done, which for me means a distinct lack of writing, a lack of harp practice (which is pretty bad), and a lack of doing reviews or work on the db which is also pretty bad, as I'd like to get uptodate with all of the blindfold games, not to mention six ages. 

I also have my graduation looming on  Wednesday, which will be nice, albeit yee gods its taken a very long time, I just hope this cold is completely gone by then and I'm not alternatively coughing and sniffing my way through the ceremony big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-10 16:28:55


Exactly what I  am talking about. now, you can learn programming all you want. but creating games is a different matter. you need not only good understanding of the language you are working with, but libraries as well. and then you have to choose which library you want to use.

That is why it would have been nice if there were more documentation about these things.

As for C, apparently, my teacher told me that arays are only there for data purposes only, according to him, he doesn't use them during the development of applications. it is always if/else, loops, functions, etc.

Still not started on the pointers yet, since he decided to cover arays before pointers.

On to the different topics:

I recovered from my tarrible cold, which turned in to a feaver, hopefully, I wouldn't have to suffer another one at least for a while.

Interestingly enough, my beta reader also suffered the same thing, guess we can call 2019 the year of cold.

Aside from that, I don't know whether  I talked about this here often or not, but I am writing a fanfic. now, I don't have much trouble with dialogs, but I am having trouble with discriptions of the things around a character, and fight scenes. if you guys have some tips to share regarding this, they will be apreciated.

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2019-01-10 22:30:04

@Dark Eagle, I have the same problem with writing. I can see scenes in my head, but it's very hard for me to describe exactly what I mean and what's happening. I would love to make a game with complex storyline, but I can't figure how to describe things the way I see them in my head. The best advice I can give you is to really study what your writing your fanfic about so you have a good understanding of what your trying to write.
@Dark, you might be interested to know that becky chambers has written a third in the wayfarers series that just came out. It's called record of a spaceborn few, it's not on bard yet, but it is on iTunes. I started to read the long way to a small angry planet, but stopped after a little while. Not because it was bad, I enjoyed it very much I just wanted to read something else at the time. I would like to get back into the book, I love the characters, all of them really stand out to me, which isn't the case with a lot of sci-fi these days. A lot of new science fiction has a game of thrones style, where nobody trusts anyone and everyone is constantly backstabbing each other, or it's very preachy grim stuff that always talks about how hopeless everything is. I might pick chambers back up in the next few days, I want to learn more about the aliens, since I didn't get that far to know anything about them.

What has been created in the laws of nature holds true in the laws of magic as well. Where there is light, there is darkness,  and where there is life, there is also death.
Aerodyne: first of the wizard order

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2019-01-11 18:03:14

@Dark Eagle. Yeah. In a sense, you've worked with pointers as it is. A bit of an odd choice to start with arrays before pointers in C since, arrays are a shorthand for a bit of pointer arithmetic. Okay, that's enough before I really get too far into it. Anyways, I know how the whole cold thing is. I'm not feeling as well as I'd like myself. Anyways, best of luck on everyone's writing ventures.

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2019-01-12 09:18:42

@Guitarman, Yep I knew about the third book, though  Itunes is the spawn of Satan my lady and I will probably wait until its available somewhere else. Hopefully though I can put together a review for it today.
As far as description goes, for me the description was always an easy thing to do, just a matter of looking at the flow of the words and deciding how things happen. character dialogue is something I've had to learn a little more, but I'm getting ontop of it these days.

With fights scenes, if you can find anything by Douglas Hill he's an author I'd really recommend. Most of his stuff was what would now be considered short Ya stuff bought out in the mid eighties, and usually has an sf theme, though some of it is also apparently fatnasy. I've sadly never been able to read as much of his stuf I'd have liked, but the thing he does amazingly well is describe action scenes especially physical combat and martial arts. I particularly admire the way he is able to be both poetic enough to give some real atmosphere to the description, and yet not too wordy to take away from the over all pace and flow of the narrative.

The novella I'm working on doesn't have any particularly major action sequences, but its something I'm baring in mind for the future.

Well for the past couple of days I've been in my university, wearing long red robes, a silly hat and having my phd officially confirmed on me. The ceremony was nice, if a little formal and I was able to go back to the college I lived at and it was good that it seemed to have a semi decent guy in charge as opposed to the complete arse hole who took over just before I moved out.
I also amusingly enough bought a college scarf and a mug.

to explain what I mean (since I know "college" can mean a lot of different things across the world ( especially in the states). College in Britain means a subsidiary education establishment to a university, be that a small part of a larger university, or an independent instittuion in its own right offering different qualifications to those you'd get at an academi university.
when I say "college" I mean it in the first sense, as a part of a main university. Durham, rather like Oxford, Cambridge, York and several others is a colegic university.
Colleges are sort of like Hogwarts school houses. You live in your college, which is a cluster of buildings in its own right, you have tutorials with people from your college, and each college also has a lot of activities of its own, for example its own sports teams, formal events, music groups etc, I for instance was in the college choir.

I'm actually a little sad I'm not  living in Durham city, since with my phd, I could probably go and work for colege as a tutor, looking after younger  and making sure they're okay, as they've manifestly only just left home and are at uni. A college tutor isn't someone who teaches, academically, they basically just make sure everyone is doing alright, and if a person needs taking care, of needs someone to talk to or whatever the college tutor is the person to go to since they're apart from the academic department.

So I bought an official college scarf, which actually looks rather like newt Skemanda's from fantastic beasts since it is black with yellow lines, though has the crossed scythes of the college crest on it.

other than that, various things on the agenda for today. I need to play my harp, as I've not played for a while, and get back to my sf novella. I also have picked up cosmic rage again as I would like to try the new combat system. Also, as regards this topic I want to get a review done for becky Chambers book the long way to a small angry planet.

I've been quite pleased that www.fantasybookreview.co.uk have recently been posting up more of my reviews, most recently the ones I did for Sanctury by Carin Lix and Desperation by Stephen King, but while there is a bit of a backlog of reviews to post I still want to write more, and in particular, I would like to get the Becky Chambers one done while her book is fresh in my mind.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-14 06:45:45

Nothing new for me this month  except trying to find a good  microphone, anyone have an  experience with  yeti microphones, I heard they were really good, what do you people on audiogames  forum think

everyone in life has something to contribute to this existence, its just if people actually will contribute anything that actually counts

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2019-01-24 10:21:36

No idea on mikes there Sky guardian. I bought a couple of stand mikes for my  but I've never managed to get the bloody things to work correctly.

As for me, things have been a little quiet over the past few days, trying to sort out a councilling course for my lady and me basically writing reviews. Part of the reason of course is that I really got into new horizons, which is a truly awesome game, actually my gaming mojo seems to be bak which is nice, especially since there is such a lot of good stuff around to play at the second.

More reviews of mine have been posted over on fantasybookreview.co.uk, including those for Dragon singer and The healer's war, both really interesting books, plus I've finished reviews for the first two becky Chambers Wayfarer books, though goodness knows when they'll get posted.

my lady and I would like to go and see the new Mary poppins film, however we're annoyingly having to wait in for a parsel which is quite a pest, though its so bloody freezing it isn't such a bad thing.
I've also booked another musical theatre tuition weekend in April and am thinking of taking Giants in the sky from into the woods, the song Jack sings about his experiences up the beanstalk. I've not really done much Sondheim before, though my lady and I did enjoy singing little priest att Christmas.

Less happily, we've started the process for my lady's settlement visa application since her spousal visa will run out in May. This is a necessary and expensive evil, why the hell the government first require so much paperwork then charge you for the privilige of submitting it I don't know, still since if my lady can't live in the Uk I'll be having to emigrate its got to be done.

Other than that, busy with the usual things, including path of adventure and of course more work on my novella.

Hope everyone else is having a good 2019, things do seem to be a little more positive this, aside from all the political wrangles of course.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-24 17:01:15

sky guardian if your looking for a good mic with a lot of options, the yeti is a good choice, if your willing to pay the price. But perhaps your looking for something that just works, no need paying for what you may not use.  If you want something cheeper the snowball may also be a good choice. Yeti if you want something more high end, with more things like mic modes you can use with it. Something like snowball if you just need something that works and gives good sound. My friend has a yeti. I owned a snow ball till I broke it, that is, by accident. Oops.

changing my signiture for the change your signiture chalange

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2019-01-29 16:46:32

Well we're approaching the end of January now and its been a funny month indeed.
My lady's application to do voluntary counselling seems to be going well, which will likely stand her in good stead when she applies to do the full councelling degree in September.

For me, well god knows, we'll have to see, though I definitely like the idea of writing professionally.

In the mean time its been a bloody cold few days. My lady and I are reading Dracula together, yes the original from 1897. Its surprisingly good, indeed it'd be interesting to do a review of.

On Sunday we also read arthur miller's the Crycible together. This was a play I did at school, but went to see on stage in the early 2000's, and its a really good portrait of histeria and witch hunts, both literal and figurative, even if bits of it (such as Proctor's wife saying that his having an affair was her fault), seemed rather dated in attitude terms. It was by no means a cheerful read  worth doing.

I've been playing a lot of games, and also working on the db, nice to finally give pages to some of the smaller projects from the past few years like light battles.

Hope everyone else is having a good time thus far.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-30 07:05:10

So, as dark said, January is coming to an end, and there is no end seems to be coming to the winter season.

I hate winter season. not only that, but I think that this season is unusually cold in comparison to the previous ones.

As for the life, well, I didn't receive any notes from my college, so I just scanned the books and converted them in to a document. well actually I was done with the process in the previous month already, but it took one month of studying to determine the results.

My verdict? I want better output for the next year. specially for the mathematics, since just a slightest change of sign can cause my calculation to go in hell.

My programming teacher gave me a lot of C programs to study, (about 300 of them,) and I did about half of them. I started to play mortal kombat 2011, which is very amusing since the next entry in the series is just about to arrive. but again, I most likely wouldn't play that one for a while.

Back to the cold: I went on a reception of a merege, and I read on the books that it was so cold that your breath was condencing into the waper, heard from the Bear Grylls when he went on any cold places, but yesterday I experienced it.

Anyway, hopefully there would be some information about the exams, because my mother likes to remind me every few days to study. as if I didn't learned anything in the 12 years of school. still, it is much better, considering she was used to hound me before.

I really have sympathy for the today's kids of India. they are sent in the play schools at the age of two and a half years old, then once they reach the age of four, they have to suffer, (yes! I said suffer!) the preschool, then 12 years of school, three years of colege, two years of post graduation, you see where I am going with this, right?

Anyway, heres hoping that cold will reducing next month.

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2019-01-30 13:43:12

Sorry about the scanning problems Dark eagle. I tried a scanner when i was doing my degree, but as you can imagine hyper complex philosophical books, especially the older ones by people like Leibniz are pretty difficult if the words get mangled, so I stopped scanning after a while and used my disabled student grant to pay for reading instead.
A shame scanning hasn't' got better in the past 15 or so years, though I definitely appreciate that in programming, as in logic, mathematics or any precise branch of study you need every sign to be exact.

Wow its funny to think of it being so cold in India, I always imagined India as a hot country, but I do know India is huge and stretches across a lot of different climates, as well as has its share of mountains and higher areas.
It's bloody freezing in England at the second, the met office have issued weather warnings for ice and snow.

I hope its not going to be quite as nuts as this time last year, since we had loads of snow, a couple of major storms and a lot of things like trains ran really reduced service.
This is particularly true since Mrs. Dark has her interview for the counselling service on Monday which is going to mean a bit of a trek.

We're probably going to see Mary Poppins tomorrow which should be good. We've been wanting to see it since Christmas, but first both of us were really unwell, and for the past week and a half we've been waiting in for a parcel which hasn't shown up, but tomorrow we're just going to say "sod it" and go anyway.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-01-30 16:17:06

I envy you northern hemisphere dwellers right now, can't wait for winter to return. The only thing I miss in winter is rain, and being able to swim. Otherwise, it's much better. It's much easier to stay warm than to cool down, since you can add a lot of layers of clothing but there's only so much you can take away. And not having to deal with mosquitoes, flies and all the other wonderful summer regulars is another major plus.

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2019-01-30 19:12:12


I wouldn't say it is a very hot country, yes, the temperature does reach around mid forties in summer, but I would say that Australia is much more harsher in the terms of temperature.

As for the current situation, you see, there are these big mountains around the area of Kashmeer. so whenever snow fall takes place in those mountains, the entire subcontinent cools down. leading to much more grumpy behavior from me.


I will agree with you on the topic of moskitos and flies, of all the species humans are killing, they couldn't have killed the species which bother them the most?

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2019-01-30 21:26:52

@Zac, youch my lady would not like that as she is not a fan of insects, though north England tends to be fairly insect free even in the height of summer. Down south you get the odd midge and sand flies can be a problem at the beach, but mosquitos are less common here.

As to warming up, well unfortunately one of the disadvantages of living in a house that's about 200 years old, is that it wasn't  exactly built with modern insulation in mind, particularly as there is a dirty great cellar under the floors.
the kitchen especially gets absolutely freezing even if we put the heating on.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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